PILOT MOUNTAIN, N.C. (WGHP) — A new strategy could change the course of the Pilot Mountain fire.
According to officials, the fire started at the Grindstone Trail. The call reporting the fire came in around 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Planes were in the air at 10 a.m Monday, and more crews will be joining those already fighting the fire Monday from southern North Carolina counties, as well as crews coming in from east of Raleigh.
An official with the North Carolina Forest Service says that an estimated 500 acres were burned as of 11 a.m.
Monday afternoon, firefighters began helping the fire burn in a controlled manner, working to direct the fire down the mountain to the fire containment line. Officials say this will take a couple of days.
At the end of it, each acre of the roughly-900-acre park will be burned in some capacity.
Early Monday flames burning up the side of the mountain up to Pilot Mountain’s famous knob.
The Forsyth County Emergency Services Communications Division has received multiple reports of a strong smell of smoke and haze in multiple areas within the county due to the fire at Pilot Mountain.
The mayor of Pilot Mountain, Evan Cockerham, posted on Facebook Sunday evening that the situation is being closely monitored and that the dry forecast for the next few days is contributing to the spread of the flames.
The weather is “against” them as of right now, according to the N.C. Forest Service. The dry, windy conditions expected Monday are going to complicate containment, especially given the terrain.
The N.C. State Parks and Recreation Department says Pilot Mountain State Park is expected to be closed all week.
Cockerharm requests anyone in Surry and surrounding counties refrain from any outdoor burning and that if anyone sees outdoor burning, to contact local law enforcement.